41% of Indians accuse telecom or banking service providers of personal data breach: survey

Forty one percent of citizens whose personal data has been compromised say it was done by their telecom or banking service providers as majority of Indians have to share their personal financial information like PAN card with multiple entities such as banks, telecommunications operators, loan or insurance agencies. , digital payment apps, hotels and airlines, government offices, and more, according to a survey by Local Circles.
33% couldn’t figure out how their data was compromised, while 11% blamed it on travel and shopping websites. Six percent blamed “government departments” and 5% said they “gave the information without verification.” The survey received over 20,500 responses from citizens residing in 337 districts of India.
The results indicate that the problem of personal data breach may be much larger and the majority are not even aware that their personal data has been breached.
The number of Indian user accounts affected by data breaches in 2021 more than quadrupled from 2020. India had the third highest number of compromised users after the United States and Iran, according to a report on data breach statistics by country from Virtual Private, based in the Netherlands. Network provider (VPN) Surfshark. Information was stolen from 86.6 million user accounts in India through “9 big data breaches in 2021, including Domino’s India and Air India cases. A hacker can sell your personal data in bulk to companies that will use them to target you with unsolicited commercial communications, including spam calls, text messages, emails and WhatsApp messages.
In most cases, citizens are required to share their personal data with documents, such as PAN and Aadhaar cards, and even bank details, for a myriad of activities ranging from applying for a debit card/ credit to getting a SIM card, buying loans and policies. and file a claim, upon admission to hospital and while traveling, using an e-wallet service as well as to avail of government services.
Recently, several cases have been reported on various social media platforms where loans have been taken against certain names and PAN cards. In some of these cases, except for name and PAN number, all other details such as date of birth, photo, father’s name and signature were found to be fake. By misusing the victims’ credentials, strangers took out loans, thus deceiving the victim as well as the company that disbursed the loan. One of these victims discovered the loan by chance through her credit report, which reflected the loan on which she had not repaid. Another victim recounted how collection agencies came to their home to collect payment for a loan they did not take. Chances are this will happen against many pan card holders, taking them by surprise. This implies that citizens’ personal data is breached by entities or their employees with whom people have shared it.
People pinned high hopes on the long-awaited implementation of the Personal Data Protection Bill, which was mainly aimed at putting in place strict protective measures and protocols for organizations and government bodies collecting and sharing personal data. citizen data.
“The Personal Data Protection Bill proposed penalties for such a data breach and proposed a data regulator to handle all complaints. However, it still needs to be approved by Parliament, and this bill may not not see the light of day in its current form. That said, the question the government and lawmakers need to ask themselves is whether a new bill that focuses solely on personal data breaches needs to be introduced so that at least this threat of data theft can be controlled, one including personal data breach provisions and penalties and a follow-up amendment that defines access by government and other agencies,” said Sachin Taparia, Founder, CEO and President of Local Circles.

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